Medicines & Chemists

How to get medication in Argentina

Medicines & Chemists

The Argentinean Ministry of Health requires that all medication is prescribed using the generic name of the drug or the common international name.

If a patient prefers a certain brand of medication, this will have to mentioned on the prescription too.

If a medication is prescribed on its generic name, the pharmacist has the obligation to inform the customer about different options of the same medication in order to offer a choice in medication. The pharmacist is also required to inform the public about the active ingredients and the combination of medication.

Generic drugs are only given on doctor’s prescription. The costs of medication vary depending on if you are insured or not. If you have an international insurance from your home country, check which rules apply. If you are enrolled in the social health care in Argentina ( Obras Sociales) 70% of the costs of medicines for chronic diseases are covered.

The diseases that qualify for 70% coverage are:

  • Cardiovascular diseases and medication for prevention
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Neurological diseases
  • Psychiatric diseases
  • Arthritis
  • Glaucoma
  • Endocrine diseases

There is also medication that qualifies for 100% coverage. This medication includes:

  • Medication for treatment of leprosy
  • Medication used in oncology
  • Medication for tuberculoses
  • Insulin for diabetes treatment
  • Contraceptive medication

Also take into consideration that the names of medicine can changes depending on the country. You might know certain drugs by the name of the producer in your home country. This same company might use another name in Argentina. The drug might also be produced by a different company. If you depend on a certain medication, make sure to know the scientific name and/or take packages with you.


Most pharmaceutical drugs can be purchased over the counter without a prescription. The pharmacist can also recommend remedies for common ailments, flu, stomach disorders, headache, etc. In the mayor cities there are several pharmacies that remain open all night.

Further reading

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